SAFETY OF REPORTERS

Journalists demand Ruto’s apology after harassment

Security officers tore the trousers of two journalists trying to take photographs of the DP

ATTACK ON MEDIA: DP Ruto’s security officer roughs up a journalist during a function at Ng’ambo, Baringo South, on Saturday, August 10
Image by JOSEPH KANGOGO
In Summary
  • Reporters say the DP Ruto’s security mishandled and embarrassed them in public
  • They say it is the second time after a similar incident in Eldama-Ravine last October
Journalists leave after covering Deputy President William Ruto’s function in Ng’ambo, Baringo South, on Saturday, August 10
THREATENED: Journalists leave after covering Deputy President William Ruto’s function in Ng’ambo, Baringo South, on Saturday, August 10
Image: JOSEPH KANGOGO

Baringo journalists have sought an apology from Deputy President William Ruto saying  his security officers harassed them when covering him on Saturday.

They protested over mistreatment while covering an Ilchamus traditional wedding of DP Ruto’s aide Amos Ole Mpaka at Ng’ambo in Baringo South subcounty.

"You guys from the media are too many. Can you clear off the crowd in front of me? Allow the public to see me because I did not come here to address you people,” Ruto said.

 

After the order, his security officers pushed and roughed up all the journalists from private media houses, leaving only those working with the Deputy President's Press Service.

Earlier as the DP's chopper landed, journalists were blocked from moving close.

 "You can only zoom your cameras from the distance where you stand. No movement at all because those are the orders we were given," a security officer announced.

The officers tore the trousers of two journalists who were jostling with the crowd to take photographs of the DP as he greeted residents.

“I was punched on the face. I almost broke my camera while running away to save my life” a journalist who declined to be named said.

Ruto told the gathering that he did not attend the wedding as Deputy President but was acting as a parent of the newly wedded man.

However, residents criticised DP Ruto for chasing away the media, saying he embarrassed them.

 

"I am a supporter for Ruto a 100 per cent but on this I differ with him because he cannot harass the media that he requires for publicity," Gilbert Kiptalam said.

Last year, a Nation photographer nearly had his camera broken after an officer with the DP roughly whisked him away at a function in Eldama Ravine.